Is the 'gravel race bike' category a marketing con?

We asked expert riders whether the demands of gravel racing warrant an entirely new bike

Cyclist riding gravel bike at speed
(Image credit: Future)

Over the last decade, there has been a big change to what we know and commonly consider to be a gravel bike. In times gone by every brand seemingly had its own take on the then-emerging genre, whereas today gravel bikes usually fit into one of three categories.

All road bikes, which are usually close to an endurance bike geometry with increased tyre clearance, gravel adventure bikes, such as the Wilier Adlar, which tend to be optimized for comfort and handling over speed, and gravel race bikes which generally sit somewhere in between.

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Joe Baker
Tech Writer

Joe is Cycling Weekly's tech writer. He's always had a love for bikes, since first riding a two wheeled steed before the age of four. Years down the line, Joe began racing at 16, and enjoyed great experiences internationally, racing in Italy, Spain and Belgium to name a few locations. Always interested in tech, Joe even piloted his Frankenstein hill climb bike to a Junior National Title in 2018.  After taking a step back from elite level racing in April 2022, Joe joined our team as a freelancer, before becoming Tech Writer in May 2023.